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Feeling overwhelmed by the upcoming election? SEL Can Help. 

Election season is upon us in the United States. While elections may bring a buzz of excitement and energy for some, for others elections can bring about emotional fatigue and decision overwhelm. In both instances, leveraging social-emotional competencies can help us persist through to November 2024. 

If you are feeling unsure of how to prepare to vote this fall, SEL4NC can help! Below we have created a “Voting with Values” series that includes activities designed to help individuals identify their core values and determine how their values may align with candidates running for office this year.    


Voting with Values 

Activity 1: Start with your values (SEL Core Competency: Self-Awareness)

What are your core values? Use this exercise from Elena Aguilar and BrightMorning to help identify your top three core values. 

 

Activity 2: Connect your values to lived experience (SEL Core Competency: Self-Management). 

After identifying your core values, take a few moments to reflect. Ask yourself: 

  • How do my core values show up in my life each day?

  • Do some consistently show up more than others? 

  • Do different values show up more at work vs. home vs. in a social setting? Why is this?

  • How do I feel when I am in alignment with my core values? How do I feel when I’m out of alignment with my core values? 

Consider using this template to help record your thoughts. 

 

Activity 3: Connect your values to societal systems (SEL Core Competency: Social Awareness). 

Now that you’ve explored how your core values may show up in your own life, let’s explore how they can and/or do show up within societal systems, including the economy, healthcare, and education. Use this template to reflect on how your values can and/or do show up within these systems. 

 

Connecting it all to the 2024 election (SEL Core Competency: Relationship Skills).

Leading with your core values (Activity 1) as well as your understanding of how your core values show up in your daily life (Activity 2) and society at large (Activity 3), begin to research candidates running for local, state, and national offices and determine if their beliefs and policy agendas align with your core values. If you have questions about a candidate’s beliefs or agenda, leverage your relationship building skills and consider attending a virtual or in-person candidate event where you can listen (or even ask!) for clarification. Consider using this template to capture thoughts and notes as you research. 

 

Where can I find non-partisan information about 2024 candidates? 

  • BallotReady.orgEvery candidate and measure, explained! Know what you’re voting for by researching every race and referendum on the ballot with BallotReady.

  • VOTE411.org – one-stop, non-partisan resource for election and voting information, including registration deadlines and primary dates in each state.

  • Vote Smart – Facts Matter Nonpartisan citizens’ organization provides candidate’s voting records, campaign finances, performance evaluations by more than 200 liberal and conservative special interest organizations, biographical backgrounds, issue positions and public comments. 

  • Factcheck.org – non-partisan website provides analysis of campaign ads and issues and reviews the accuracy of political ads and allegations.

 

Where can I find in-person or virtual candidate events?

  • Check candidates’ campaign websites and social media platforms for virtual or in-person meet-and-greet, townhall, and/or debate events.

  • Directly email candidates’ campaign email addresses or message social media accounts and ask your questions. 

  • Consider hosting an event in your community where you invite candidates to answer questions and share their campaigns. Here is a guide from Afterschool Alliance regarding hosting Candidate Forums

 

Plan to vote (SEL Core Competency: Responsible Decision Making).

Now that you’ve spent time becoming informed and are ready to make responsible decisions at the polls, make a plan to vote!